Orlando & The Freakshow

Weekdays 6AM - 10AM

R. Kelly was a hero to many.

I’m from Gary, Indiana where all influences come from Chicago. So as R. Kelly hit big time, it was like my generations Michael Jackson.  Local kids dreamed of getting this opportunity, so he was a hood hero to many.  I was always telling my boss about him and he was doing a concert in Jacksonville so my boss gave me tickets. I remember he started to sing a tribute to his mom, who passed away months before.  A HUGE picture of her lowered, from the ceiling, and he sang “Sadie”, (originally recorded by The Spinners, a lifetime ago).  It was painful to watch.  Crying, rolling on the floor, he was an emotional wreck.  The audience is visibly emotional too.  As the song ended, the music changed to “Sex Me” and dancers came out and started grinding.  Most were still wiping tears away, as he started.  It was awkward.

Aaliyah on his lap.

After the show, we’re introduced and compared favorite Chicago foods like Harold’s Chicken, Pepe’s Tacos, and my love for White Castles.  Then, Aaliyah, comes in and sits across his lap, and the whole conversation went muffled, like underwater.  I nodded, and laughed, but this hero with a teen, across his lap, was so confusing. It was impossible to pay attention as the conversation stopped.  Driving back, all questions.  “Maybe she’s family!”  “No cousin is laying across his LAP like that!”  “She has gotta be older than we think she is!”  That first impression prepared me for today’s sentence.  30 years behind bars.  Its hard to say that another hero has fallen, because of who he became.  However there was a time when I very much wanted his life.  I remained a fan of the music but he stopped being a hero that day.